‘St Dwynwen’s Day’. Inspiring Welsh Proposals since the 5th Century

Sunday the 25th of January is ‘Dydd Santes Dwynwen’ ‘St Dwynwen’s Day’ also known as Welsh Valentine’s Day.

The story originates many moons ago before the days of the twittersphere, Simon Cowell, Smart Phones and internet dating. Back then entertainment came in the form of ‘Corracle Racing’, Leek growing and telling folktales to friends and family. The tale transports us back to 5th Century Wales when a young women called Dwynwen fell head over heels in love with a gent called Maelon Dafodrill. Apparently Dwynwen’s father had beef with her choice of beau and forbid her to pursue her love. So distraught at the thought of the romance not being blessed she found solace in her faith. She prayed to God vigorously to help her fall out of love with her hunk and one day an angel visited her in her dreams. The angel manifested with a potion designed to erase any memory of Maelon and for good measure, turned him into a block of ice. The angel like a holy Genie (minus a brass lamp) granted Dwynwen three wishes. She wished for Mr Frosty to thaw out, for God to allow all true loves to be together and for her to never tie the knot. We will never know if Dwynwen had a penchant for the local hallucinating fungi or if the angel explained to Maelon why he was temporarily cryogenically frozen. What we do know is that unrequited love is as fun as stubbing your toe on the Coffee Table leg. St Dwynwen does provide an opportunity to celebrate your love for your partner with a romantic proposal.

Married Life: The final frontier. This is the voyage of a brave little soldier. It’s a journey until the end of days. To explore and discover the thrust of curiosity, to seek out new stresses and amazing memories, to boldly go where no bachelor has gone before… Marriage.

I totally understand that as I’m a single cat the fact that I’m writing about marriage proposals is as ironic as Psychic Sandra cancelling her tour due to unforeseen circumstances. I’ve seen it dozens of times with friends and family. They meet a young filly or a young buck and they get lost in each other’s eyes for hours at a time. ‘Sat Nav Eyes’ if you will. Then a wedding is as inevitable as a Bull making an unnecessary mess in his local China Shop. “All you need is love”.

In my eyes marriage is like a bowel movement. (Bear with me) It can go as smoothly as an Otter sliding off a river bank into the tepid waters below or it splutters like Postman Pat’s van’s exhaust pipe. Either way the unbelievable synergy between two human beings where they succumb to reckless abandonment and total vulnerability to each other is an exceptional gift not to be sniffed at.

As a lot of people have more baggage than a Heathrow Airport arrival’s conveyor belt, it’s a commendable and defenceless leap of faith to throw yourself on the grenade that is The Proposal. Friends have shared that they felt extremely nervous and there’s always a rascal of an inner monologue who says “If this goes ‘breasts up’ you’re going to feel as awkward as the first person who threw the baby out with the bath water.” Like a sneeze during a first kiss, a disastrous proposal is extremely hard to recover from.

A proposal needs to be memorable and a snap-shot of the extreme love and respect that a partner has for their prospective wife/hubbie. From what I can gather, the more thoughtful the better.

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Inspirational and unique proposal. Watch this champ’s efforts.

A great mate of mine used his girlfriend’s (now Ball & Chain) love of Custard Creams biscuits to seal the proposal deal. During a relaxing, countryside, summer’s day picnic he used a ‘Hansel and Gretel’ style approach (minus the cannibalistic witch who was baked to death in her own oven) to lead her to an eye level branch nearby. There lay a single biscuit with an engagement ring perched on top. This proposal took the biscuit.

Another great pal surprised his girlfriend (now his Trouble and Strife) with an artistic and candle lit bid for her lifelong partnership. As a manual working, hard man grafter he is not known for grand romantic gestures. When his girlfriend walked into their living room after work and saw candles laid out on the floor in the shape of a heart with an engagement ring protruding from an open box, she was as happy as a Clam.

In a nut shell

Above all, ‘Love is patient, love is kind’… If you present a half arsed proposal you may end up as a patient at your local ‘A & E’ and you may be kindly asked to “Jog on you plank”.

If you want to seal the deal with a little bit of emotional blackmail and you have a baby then all you have to do is buy a “Will you marry my Daddy?” onesie. Same goes for a pet. Nothing says “I love you” quite like an excitable, slobbering Pug with an engagement ring slathered in drool attached to their collar.

As always if you’re a Best man, Groom, Father of the Bride, a Bride or Bridesmaid this year see ‘our services’ for speech writing.  Have a look at some of our previous speech writing blogs

Coming up

Wedding faux pas and generally party fouls.

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The Vicar is HMS Wedding’s compass through iceberg country.

My experience of weddings as Best man, Usher and guest have made me realise the importance of the ‘forgotten person of the cloth’ who can rock a wedding like a star or can be a fun sucking abyss of blandness. Here come some tales of the good, the bad and the fugly..

One vicar was as worn out as a seasoned Pendine Sands donkey at the twilight of summer. He looked like a feral version of Mr Noel Edmonds. His breath hung in the wind after every syllable like a slap of a new-born’s nappy to the face. His jowly neck and liver spotted paws told a tale of time ravaged by the stresses of endless Sabbath responsibilities, judging village fete chutney competitions and he would clearly welcome the reaper’s bony hand putting him out of his Ground Hog Day misery. He was robotically efficient in fairness. No frills yet we knew where we all stood. This category of vicar are to be appreciated as stress will be minimal. Just lay back, close your eyes and think of the green, green, grass of home.

The stereotypical jolly Vicar is still alive and preaching like a good’un. I once saw him getting stuck in an arm chair, no word of a lie. He resembled an over-sized garden snail with a reupholstered withered shell. He’s a total ‘all-star of the cloth’. On one outing I was an Usher/bouncer outside the church door pre-wedding and the vicar and I were chatting to the Bridal troop as they arrived and his concluding words to them as he opened the door to the eagerly waiting guests and Groom were “Okay ladies. Tits and teeth. Tits and teeth.” He’s the Michael Jordan of vicars. He put us all at ease and swaggered off down the aisle like a gigantic, sassy cherub. Back of the net…

On another occasion the vicar was flat out grumpy. His sense of humour was as dry as a nun’s nasty. The wedding rehearsal for me is a great time to put the Bride and Groom to-be at ease, to establish a positive environment and reinforce a tree of trust. When the vicar tells everyone to hush up and hurry up as he wants to get back home to watch the Ospreys rugby match on telly you know you’re treading water with your dad’s wellies on. I don’t think he was cuddled much as a bambino. In fact I don’t think Jesus even loved him at all. I would go as far as to say that the bearded illusionist probably thinks he is a bit of a plonker.

My favourite vicar experience came when I was a Best man. He was a ‘Fonzy’ of a guy. Reasonably young, he liked to sink a few bevies on occasion and he was not preachy in any way shape or form out of God’s man-cave. On the eve of the wedding I ran a few potential dodgy jokes past him as I knew he was attending the wedding day in its entirety. (See Best man speech example) One of which involved a hidden tattoo the bride had of a seashell on the inside of her upper thigh. Rumour has it if you put your ear against it and listen extremely carefully you could smell the sea. The vicar laughed and high-fived me. He was a scholar and a gent from the wedding rehearsal all the way through to the ‘Chicken Dancing’ wedding night finale.

In a nut-shell

If you land an easy going, all-star of a Vicar then savour every minute and count your lucky stars. I guess it’s kind of like learning to kiss when you’re young. Sometimes you’re going to bang teeth or chafe your lips with a brace and then you get a good kisser, post Cherry Drop and it’s plain sailing/smooching. Perhaps you need to experience an angry or crusty clergyman before you can truly appreciate a cracker. My only Yoda like advice would be “Patient and open you must be and a good chance of success you will have.”

As always if you’re a Best man, Groom, Father of the Bride, a Bride or Bridesmaid this year see ‘our services’ for speech writing.

Coming up

’24 Hours’ – 1 full turn of the earth on it’s axis. Most days blur into the other 364. Other days will be remembered until you gasp your last breath. The Wedding day through the eyes of the guys.